Workers ID'd in Construction Accident in Scott Co., 1 Killed

Posted at: 08/14/2013 7:05 PM
Updated at: 08/14/2013 7:07 PM

Robert Fenstermacher
Robert Fenstermacher
Photo: Photo courtesy of NewsOn6.com

Authorities have identified the victims of a construction accident in Scott County.

The incident happened around 8:50 a.m. Wednesday in the 2200 block of West 260th Street, where two workers had fallen into a 50-foot deep hole, according to the Scott County Sheriff's Office.

The site is in Helena Township, Minn., just north of New Prague.

Worker Robert Fenstermacher, 28, of Oologah, Okla., died of head injuries from the fall, the sheriff's office reported. Another worker, Jeremy Moye, 37, of Machesney, Ill., was transported to the hospital with injuries. He's since been released from the hospital.

Both worked for Aldridge Electric, which is completing subcontracting work on the CapX2020 project. The company is based in Illinois.

Learn more about the project here.

Xcel Energy officials reported that the accident happened during the construction of the CapX2020 project, where helicopters have been stringing heavy-duty transmission lines. The project involves 250 miles of transmission between Brookings County in South Dakota and Dakota County in Minnesota. The line is managed by Great River Energy.

CapX2020 spokesman Randy Fordice said crews were digging holes about 50 feet deep for a power pole and were preparing to pour in the concrete.

The process includes putting a large, round bale into the hole for support. They then put in a rebar cage and pull the bale out before pouring in the concrete.

It was at this point when the accident occurred, Fordice said.

The two workers were riding on suspensions on the circular rebar and were being lowered into the hole when a strap broke, causing the workers to fall 20- to 30 feet, the sheriff's office reported. One of victims was impaled by the rebar, Fordice stated.

Moye was transported by Mayo One to a hospital in New Prague, where he was treated and released by Wednesday afternoon, according to the sheriff's office.

Fenstermacher was found at the bottom of the hole, Fordice said.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the sheriff's office is investigating the incident. Other agencies from New Prague and the Minnesota State Patrol also assisted at the scene.